This paper analyzes the effect of German language-learning opportunities abroad on migration to Germany. We use information about the Goethe-Institut (GI), which promotes the German language worldwide. Our unique dataset covers 69 countries for the period 1977 to 2014. In this multiple-origin and single-destination framework, we estimate fixed-effects models as our basic specification. We find evidence that the number of language institutes of the GI in a country is positively correlated with migration from that country to Germany. To establish causality, we consider Switzerland as an alternative destination, as the number of institutes is exogenous to migration to Switzerland. We find that the number of institutes affects migration to the German-speaking part of Switzerland but not to the French- and Italian-speaking parts. Backed by further extensions, which control for the presence of multilateral resistance, our results point to a causal effect of language-learning opportunities on migration to Germany.
The paper can be found hereExternal link.